CLEARWATER — A man was injured Tuesday afternoon when his personal watercraft crashed into mangroves along the Intracoastal Waterway near Island Way on Island Estates, authorities said.
Michael Eytchison, 33, of Oldsmar, was riding west in the vessel about 3 p.m. in the waterway north of Clearwater Memorial Causeway when the accident happened, deputies said. Eytchison, who works for Short Block Technologies, a company that builds motors and tests parts for watercrafts, was testing the crankshaft for the watercraft along with a co-worker, Matthew Eickmeyer, 22, who rode a separate watercraft.
Eickmeyer lost sight of Eytchison and backtracked to an area where he found him injured in a group of mangroves, authorities said. He then pulled Eytchison onto his personal watercraft and took him to the Seminole Street boat ramp.
From there, Eytchison was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa for treatment of non-life threatening injuries to his face and neck, authorities said.
An initial investigation of the accident found that Eytchison approached the mangroves at 30 mph and tried to turn away but continued into them and crashed, deputies said. Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash, authorities said.